early screening

An early diagnosis with no access to treatment is immoral

I watched a lecture today given by Dr. Ami Klin, an academic with expertise in autism. For the first time in many months, I thought here’s a guy who really understands. The lecture is 22 minutes long, and well worth the time.

Dr. Klin discusses research which has resulted in the ability to identify autism
reliably at six months of age, prior to the age where behaviors characteristic of autism typically begin to appear. Where he garnered my respect was when he said that an early diagnosis is useless if parents do not have access to effective treatment for their children. This seems like an obvious point but it is often overlooked by many professionals and particularly policy makers.

We parents have been saying this for the last 20 years! Put simply, early diagnosis without access to treatment is immoral. Substitute autism with leukemia and everyone understands that a diagnosis without access to treatment is cruelty. Finally, we have an academic who makes it very clear that autism treatment and early diagnosis combine as a moral issue. When speaking about early diagnosis, Klin says, “But this [early diagnosis] would be immoral if we didn’t also have an infrastructure for intervention, for treatment.”

Thank you, Dr. Klin, for boldly speaking the obvious and advocating for access to necessary autism treatment. Hopefully, we will hear more from Dr. Klin in the future!

Routine screening for autism is not routine enough

Everyone talks about how crucial early diagnosis is for children with autism. I wholeheartedly agree. Why then, are we having such a difficult time making this happen? The screening process is quick, easy and unobtrusive. What is the obstacle then? Read more...